Saturday, February 25, 2012

Dog-Days of Winter

Beach Lane Book logo and sign
created by the author/illustrator Marla Frazee
When the cool days of autumn turn into the cold days of winter, I welcome the coziness of being inside my home and studio. The double layers of storm windows are a quiet relief from the lawn mowers of summer and the constant noise of planes overhead and freeways nearby. But by the end of February, the air inside begins to feel stale and the constant rattling and throbbing of radiators wakes me too often in the middle of the night. I want to throw open the windows and let the fresh air in, but the thermometer is still reading only 21 degrees. So these are the dog-days of winter for me, when I begin to sing this song in my studio and dream of traveling to a warmer climate. I am in the midst of a deadline for a book, so there are no getaways allowed, but I can dream, can't I?

I have just finished a book with my publisher, Beach Lane Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. The book is called, Tell Me About Your Day Today and it is written by Mem Fox. I will write more about this book in future posts, closer to when it comes out next September, but right now all I want to share is my love for Beach Lane Books, a studio where two California editors work. It is a magical place where pictures and words come together to become gorgeous picture books and sometimes adventurous chapter books. I visited there last January and this is what I saw:
A pail and shovel on the steps to the studio.
A cozy entryway with an excellent message
for everyone in the publishing biz.
A table for work with colored chairs that seem to say:
"Sit here!" "No, here, sit here!"
and a window to see the sea from.
Shells on the windowsill.
A bike and books, lots of books!
More books and a bulletin board just waiting...
for the perfect pictures, quotes, and postcards!
Flowers, hummingbirds, and yellow finches!
Yep! When Minnesota's spring is still at least two months away, this is where I wish I were right now.

Where do you wish you could be right now?


  1. I love this post. That red staircase is terrifically inviting. Where would I like to be right now? Right here in my neck of California, but with you here, too.

  2. Lucky you in California! I wish I were there with you too!

  3. Love these shots in to the Beach Lane Studio- they have inpeccable taste in interior design AND illustrators and writers! Congrats on finishing up Lauren.

  4. MY 1st book with Beach Lane just debuted: Baby Bear Sees Blue. I did not visit the office, though my editor Andrea, took me for an outside breakfast at the sweetest cafe. Thanks for the look inside. It looks perfectly suited to Allyn and Andrea!

  5. Congratulations Ashley on your first book with BLB! I can't wait to see it!